Gardens of the Cross Timbers: Pollinator week comin’ up

Pollinator week is June 19-25 2017. The first “National Pollinator Week” was celebrated 10 years ago. How very important pollinators are. 

In the wild, cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) prefer to live in the moist understory of the rainforests in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. The flowers sprout straight from the trunk and lower branches to form cacao pods, courtesy of midge pollination. The National Park Service works with “sister parks” in South America that are looking into the problem of disappearing chocolate midges.

The “lungs of the planet” are being cleared and turned into monoculture farms that support little wildlife. In 2015, United Cacao cleared over five thousand acres of pristine rainforest in Peru to make way for their cacao plantation. Efforts are now being directed toward locating small cacao farms at the edge or within the rainforest ecosystems. How much do you like your chocolate?

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